Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 24, 2010

ONLY THE VALIANT (1951)

Gregory Peck’s natural gravitas serves him well in this U.S. Cavalry Western built out of bits & pieces from a couple of John Ford classics (FORT APACHE/’48; THE LOST PATROL/’34) and a classical classic (those Greeks @ Thermopylae; ‘300'). Peck’s a by-the-book officer who captures, but refuses to kill a war-crazed Apache. When the Indian escapes, Peck has to hold the neighboring fort that guards the pass with a half dozen misfit soldiers he’s specifically chosen as the most expendable men around. It’s a tasty set-up and Peck makes the most of his carefully chosen outbursts, especially when he finally tells off his motley crew. The acting is odder than usual as these things go (Lon Chaney’s ‘Arab’ & Ward Bond’s dog-faced drunk are pretty OTT), while both Lionel Lindon’s lensing & Gordon Douglas’s action megging are unexpectedly flat. (Douglas sure lays on the blood & violence, but his staging is often perfunctory.) This was one of only two films William Cagney produced without brother James as star and the modest budget shows. Better work comes from Franz Waxman who sneaks some cool solo string lines into his score when he isn’t being asked to ‘Mickey Mouse’ the comedy & action stuff.

No comments: